Patrick Morselli

Head of Global Expansion for WeWork

Patrick Morselli, Head of Global Expansion for WeWork.

“For over a year, I’ve been Head of Global Expansion for a New York startup that’s been revolutionising offices thanks to the sharing economy: WeWork. Before that, I headed expansion in Latin America for another company spearheading the sharing economy: Uber.

WeWork offers services, office space and a community to entrepreneurs, innovators, startups and SMEs. WeWork’s story began four years ago in Manhattan, where we now have 16 locations. My job is conquering the world. I manage the Expansion Team, a group of top managers from the most diverse backgrounds. Each one of them is responsible for opening a new market in record times, taking care of all global business operations. After launching in a city, they’ll move on to the next one, starting from scratch.

Today, in London, in the heart of the City, we inaugurated WeWork Moorgate: at regime we’ll have 8 floors with over 3,000 desks, communal spaces for conferences and events, meeting rooms and game rooms. At the same time we’re opening locations in Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv and many other cities. We opened 20 new during last year. My working days are long, intense and full of surprises. Every day I’m managing teams in five or six different time zones. I love a challenge and working with team of young and talented individuals.”

Your position in WeWork (which is expanding rapidly) has brought you to London. What can the growth of hot-desking mean for a young Italian going to London looking for work?

“Hot-desking in a co-working space is a cost-effective and efficient solution to work in a competitive and stimulant context. WeWork, in collaboration with institutions, universities and creative companies regularly holds events and facilitates networking and training. At WeWork you can find professionals, potential partners, clients and suppliers, investors and young startuppers. It’s the ideal environment for business.

There was a nice group of Italians in the four London location we’ve opened so far, there are young entrepreneurs, developers, marketing managers and local managers for international firms like Mind The Bridge.

Frankly I don’t feel nostalgic for Italy. In part I miss the beautiful Bologna, spending time with my family, my mother’s cooking… But I chose to take this opportunity to grow personally and professionally. My work takes me around the whole world, from the US to South America, Asia and everywhere in Europe.

I’m grateful for the responsibility given to my by Adam and Miguel, the founders. I’d like for opportunities like this one to be offered to young entrepreneurial people in Italy. There’s still lots to be done at the entrepreneurial and institutional level.

London is the most electrifying, cosmopolitan and socially advanced city in the world… I live in Old Street, a few steps from Shoreditch, in the heart of Tech City, the creative and technological hub that radically changed East London over the last 5–10 years — and is often compared to Silicon Valley. In London there’s always movement in the world of innovation, creativity and recently that has started to include startups: angels and VCs find an ideal economic, social and cultural scene where they can invest in talent, grow and do business.

London has taught me the value of innovation growing from a society that’s fertile because mentally open, a team building where every meeting is a melting pot of cultures and dreams, and lastly, the necessary discipline to transform ideas in organised and efficient companies.

If my degree from Bocconi was my ‘imprinting’, my master’s at ESCP and the experience at Uber in Latin America gave me the tools to manage a global team of over 50 people.

My greatest satisfaction is having created the expansion strategy for WeWork starting from scratch and, in a single year, having triplicated our number of locations.

For now, I’m giving all of myself to growing the company into a global player. It’s a challenge you get once in a lifetime. I consider myself very lucky, because it’s already happened twice: first with Uber, and now with WeWork.”

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